Neuro-Divergent differences include many developmental neurological differences like: ADHD, autism, DCD/dyspraxia, dyslexia, dyscalculia, Tourette's Syndrome and other commonly co-occurring developmental differences like Joint Hyper Mobility Syndrome/EDS, Epilepsy, and others
We are estimated to make up approximately 20% of the population but we are fragmented, socially and geographically segregated. Many of us feel that we are currently treated as second class citizens and that we are seen as a 'challenging' minority by the ruling classes.
Although we are isolated within our geographical communities we have found others like us and formed huge communities on the internet. We gain support from each other and find ways to overcome hurdles together.
Politicians usually ignore us or complain of the difficulties we present for the system. They will happily talk about us as as statistics to further their arguments but only when the statistics further their political ideology. When schools fail to teach us WE are blamed for the failure. When politicians talk about us it is to spread fear and hatred of our differences amongst the population so that we receive no support or understanding from our communities. We have hidden differences which prevent us from navigating the Neuro-Typical systems which is allegedly there to support us. These actions have lead many of us to feel isolated, and at times broken, because of this many of us develop overlapping additional mental health issues.
The Conservatives seem hell bent on increasing the inequalities against us in education as they drive to increase 'exclusions' from children who display 'undesirable' behaviours and alter the curriculum to the detriment of all SEN children. We need someone to champion our cause NOT out of pity but out of logic.
We are potentially the future innovators, the leaders, the Entrepreneurs, the inventors; yet we are being failed. Very few of us reach our potential because we lack the understanding and acceptance needed within society. We are not going to achieve greater understanding or acceptance until we have that same understanding and acceptance from the policy makers themselves.
We need a leader who will look at us and accept our differences but also see the pure untapped POTENTIAL we have. We need someone who can start a conversation with us. There should be no policy created for us that did not include us from the moment of inception.
We are all too often deemed as lesser people because we struggle to manage some things that many others find easy. The conclusion is, well if they can't even tie their own shoelaces and dress themselves properly, then they aren't really fit to work. The truth is that I often struggle to tie my shoelaces, the expression on my face when I'm doing it is one of complete concentration because if I don't concentrate I get it wrong. Although I can't tie my shoelaces I am still an asset as are all neuro-divergent people no matter what basic functions they cannot master.
Jeremy Corbyn, you have created a Minister for Mental Health and I applaud you for that, it truly is an immensely important post in this era. Can we ask that you also consider appointing a Minister for Neuro-Diversity to work closely with the Minister for Mental Health? We are in need of political representation.
This letter has been written on behalf of the ND communities; from Parents of ND children who feel like they are having to battle a system in order to have their children's differences recognised, from adults with differences that are not accounted for in their employment many of whom are disadvantaged to the point of being forced onto benefits, from adults who have discovered that they too are wired differently and need additional support but who cannot even get diagnosed on the NHS in order to get these differences accounted for. That is just one example of the inherent discrimination we face.
We need someone who can start the conversation in Parliament. We need someone who understands that just because someone dresses differently or who fail to gain a basic education by the age of 17, or who seems weird and a quirky, we need someone who can see past the differences and realise that these people can still be valuable contributors to society.
ND differences don't just affect the estimated 20 odd percent of people who are wired differently, it affects their families too. We need a voice.
Will you champion our cause and start the conversation?
Nothing For Us Without Us Please... we are equal humans with equal rights... we watch your rise to power with intrigue because some of us are believing you will be the first one to see past our labels and help us unleash our true potential.
Short-listed as a Positive Role Model (disability) for the National Diversity Awards 2015
Please add a comment if you want to endorse this plea and help to spread the word. Let’s start the conversation now.